nutcracker.jpg

Somehow, I manage to stumble upon great things.  Not necessarily because I’m worthy of them (although I’m clearly very important), but mostly just because I think I’m lucky, and most likely people feel sorry for me.

Some people don’t like being pitied, but if my mess of an appearance makes people want to give me something for free, then pity away!

Tonight I went with my friends Downtown Christy Brown and Pajama Jeans (not their real names) to see the Moscow Ballet perform The Nutcracker.  We somehow managed to score amazing tickets to the performance, and although they were high dollar tickets, we got them for free

ballet dancersYou know, cuz we’re awesome and stuff.

Because the three of us can’t seem to do anything the right way, getting to the theater was a bit of a mess.  Here’s a breakdown of our timeline.  Please note that the show started at 7:00 p.m.

4:15-6:28 p.m.:  I teach an orientation class at the rescue shelter where I volunteer.  I had to finish with the class a little early so I could change at the shelter and get to the theater.

I feel a little like Clark Kent changing into Superman, only there isn’t a phone booth and the only super power I have is my ability to clear a room with my pungent gas.  It’s a gift.

I hum the Superman theme song as I change.

I change out of my shelter clothes, which smell of dog poo, dog hair and sweat, and change into my dressy clothes, which only smell of sweat and and dog hair.  It is an improvement.

As I walk through the shelter in my change of clothes, I see looks of surprise from several of the volunteers.  I’m not sure any of them ever saw me in a dress before, and the look is clearly quite shocking to them.

girl playing dress upI also think one of the volunteers was convinced I was a man until he saw me in a dress, as I always have my hair up, no make up on, and I talk to the dogs in a manly voice.

I think it makes me sound authoritative.

6:29 p.m.:  I receive a text from DTCB saying she will be late to meet us.  Duh.  She’s always late.  She doesn’t ever need to announce it, as it is assumed.

It would be like Paris Hilton telling us she is a slut-whore, or Richard Simmons announcing he’s gay.  We just know.

6:32 p.m.:  I arrive at our meeting location the same time Pajama Jeans arrives.  We chat about the upcoming ballet and take bets on what time DTCB will actually arrive.

The over/under is 7 minutes.

6:37 p.m.:  DTCB comes speeding around the corner to pick us up.  We follow her car to a secure parking lot so we can ride together and leave our cars in a safe location.

I’m pretty sure I have enough random water bottles and granola bars in there to feed the homeless, so I know my car would be a prime target for theft.  I also have the entire CD collection of Garth Brooks’ Greatest Hits, which is doubly enticing.

parking lot16: 42 p.m.:  We arrive at the secure parking lot, only DTCB leads us to the wrong one so we have to move.

6:44 p.m.:  We arrive at the proper parking lot, throw our cars into park and get into DTCB’s car.  She is blaring Christmas music and is full of the holiday spirit.

She is also full of Subway, as she stopped there on the way to meet us.  Fortunately, she got us sandwiches and chips, so we are happy.  Yet another reason we are friends.

6:47 p.m.:  Pajama Jeans and I inhale our sandwiches and chips while DTCB drives around downtown looking for the parking garage for which we have a VIP pass.

Let me remind you of DTCB’s driving style.  It’s jerky, and the car literally jerks forward and then backwards.  It’s not so much because she drives badly, but because her car is lacking a key ingredient:  oil.

So as she navigates the streets, jerking to and fro, Pajama Jeans and I inhale our dinner of carbs in approximately 5 bites, trying not to choke as we are thrown about the vehicle.

oil container6:51 p.m.:  We are driving around looking for our VIP parking spot. We are hoping to see signs, perhaps in flashing lights with our names on them.  No such luck.

Instead, we find ourselves driving the same 3 city blocks, passing the same 3 homeless men who clearly think we were drunk, or scoping the place out for a drive by.

6:54 p.m.:  Still driving around looking for our parking spot and beginning to think there’s no such thing as a VIP parking spot.

6: 57 p.m.:  I force DTCB to pull over so I can ask for directions to our super secret parking spot.  I instruct her to pull over in front of the theater so we can ask for directions.

She jerks the car forward and pulls in front of the theater….to the one spot where not a single person is standing.  I look at her in awe and ask her who she wants me to ask for directions.

She takes a minute to realize her error, and then pulls forward to a place where people are located.

6:58 p.m:  The screeching breaks from the car alert the police officer standing outside the theater, and he looks over to discover three women in a car without oil.

I can see the look of pity on his face as I ask him where the super secret VIP parking is located.  He tells us it’s the valet and points us in the proper direction.  I thank him and wait for DTCB to drive away.  No such luck.

valetShe sits and stares at me until I remind her the best way to get to the parking spot is to physically drive there.

6:59 p.m.:  We pull up to the VIP valet where we are greeted by a gentleman who clearly thinks we are lost.  He walks over to DTCB’s car, which is a fine automobile, but not nearly the caliber of vehicles which he is accustomed to parking.

He asks us where we are going and we show him our VIP pass.  He inspects it closely, as it’s clear he believes it to be a fake.  Once he’s satisfied, and confused, he takes the keys and the car.

He notes the discarded Subway wrappers strewn about the car and figures his tip from this car will be less than good.

7:00 p.m.:  We walk up the steps to the theater.  I realize I have crumbs all over my dress from inhaling my sandwich, and I attempt to brush them off, which only seems to grind them into my sweater dress, making their presence permanent.

I figure it’s okay since I forgot a necklace.

old elevator button7:01 p.m.:  We enter the VIP entrance where we are immediately questioned and told we are in the wrong place.

I’m sure my crumb-stained dress and the mayonnaise on my face didn’t necessarily scream VIP status.  We flash our VIP tickets and watch the look of surprise rush over the guards, who let us through.

7:02 p.m.:  A guard ushers the three of us to a private elevator where we are greeted by our own elevator attendant.

We immediately check our phones to ensure we didn’t time warp back to 1952, and then proceed.

Our elevator attendant, Maguy, greets us warmly and presses the button to take us to our seats.

I expected this elevator to be difficult to work since it clearly required an attendant to operate it, but it was a normal elevator, although Maguy pressed that button like a pro.

7:03 p.m.:  We arrive on the proper floor and exit the elevator where we are met by a large woman who immediately suspects we are crashers.

I’m sure my lingering smell of dog shelter and onions didn’t help substantiate our legitimacy.

We show her our tickets and she doesn’t even try to hide her surprise.  I’m pretty sure I hear her mutter under her breath “What is our world coming to?  These people are VIP?”

security pad7:04 p.m.:  She adorns us with VIP wrist bracelets and tells us we have access to the lounge where there is free food and drinks.  WHAT?!  Our VIP status allowed us to have free food and drink before the show?

How could I have missed that?  The bittersweet news washes over us and we agree to go to the restroom before hitting up our seats.

We are directed to a VIP restroom that is empty, as only VIPs are allowed to use it.

I expect to see velvet couches and men wearing loin cloths to be waiting for us in the restroom.  No such luck.

7:06 p.m.:  We head to our seats, passing through a few secure areas.  Every guard we pass looks confused at our presence and even more confused by our VIP status.

Obviously three girls smelling like farts and sub sandwiches aren’t the norm at these events.

7:07 p.m.:  We make it to our seats and discover they are in the VIP section with tables for drinks, and we are doubly mad because this is just a reminder that we could have had all the drinks our hearts desired had we been there earlier.

ballet dancer stretching7:12 p.m.:  DTCB whispers to me and asks to see my program.  Despite the fact she’s had the program a total of five minutes and walked a total of 20 yards, she’s managed to lose her program.

I hand it over and apologize that it’s wet from the Diet Coke bottle that spilled in my purse.

8:17 p.m:  Intermission arrives and we head to the VIP lounge to see what goodness will be there.  We are stopped by three different guards who are all convinced we are crashing the lounge.

We arrive and discover the lounge has cake pops and drinks ready for us.  Amaze-balls.

I grab two and head to a table to stuff my face.  I figure if I can down two before more people trickle in, I can get another two and pretend they are my first two.

And that’s exactly what we all did.  The cake puffs are delicious, although after the fourth one, my stomach feels a little uneasy.

It settles once I got another complimentary drink from the bar.

cocktail with fruit8:32 p.m.:  We return to our seats to watch the rest of the performance, drinks in hand.  Pajama Jeans is rocking a kiddie cocktail, but she looks so fancy doing it.

DTCB comments on the pretty costumes and advises her favorite part of the ballet is the tiara the woman is wearing.  She seems mesmerized by the glitter and goes into a bit of a trance.

It also could have been a food coma…I’m not sure.

9:18 p.m.:  The ballet ends and we push our way to the VIP section once again to see what other free goodies we can find.

We are disappointed to discover there are only drinks available, and no additional food.  I scold one of the guards who told me earlier that they would have desserts after the show.

I call her a liar and tell her I will be reporting her to her superiors.  She offers me a breath mint, which is either an attempt at kindness or a suggestion that I shouldn’t have onions on my sub.

I decline.

9:19 p.m.:  We head to our private VIP elevator and are escorted to the main level by Maguy, who has become even more of a pro operating the elevator.

ballet dancers10:04 p.m.:  I arrive home expecting someone to open the door for me and greet me with a warm washrag.  I’ve adjusted to my VIP status quite nicely.

Instead, I’m greeted by three rambunctious dogs and a husband wearing only lounge shorts and a pair of black socks.

I consider reminding him of my VIP status, but don’t want to make him feel inferior, so I don’t.

Please don’t be jealous of my amazing VIP status.  I realize it’s very intimidating, but I can’t help that I’m super important.

In the future, I would like to be addressed as a VIP and will demand to sit in the VIP section wherever I go.

I’m pretty sure this demand won’t be met, as the Country Kitchen I like to hit up on Friday nights has open seating.